Striking Gold (and Garnet)

Peggy Piggott at Sutton Hoo in 1939

24 March 2022, 7 pm

The Netflix film The Dig has brought the extraordinary Sutton Hoo ship burial to a wider audience.

This excavation, made on the eve of World War II, revealed an early medieval burial of unparalleled magnificence and became one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of all time. The film includes a dramatic scene in which a young female archaeologist called Peggy Piggott (later Margaret Guido) uncovers the first of many gold artefacts from the burial. While this moment mirrors reality, there is more to say about Peggy’s role at Sutton Hoo, including the experience she had already gained, at important sites including Langton Matravers in Dorset. In this lecture, curator Sue Brunning follows her throughout that momentous discovery at Sutton Hoo in 1939, via the British Museum’s extensive archival materials.

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    Bank Holidays: 10.00am - 4.00pm

  • Dorset Museum

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Dr Sue Brunning

Dr Sue Brunning is Curator of the European Early Medieval Collections at the British Museum. She specialises in early medieval material culture with particular research interests in the Sutton Hoo ship burial, 6th- to 8th-century metalwork in Britain, the biography of artefacts and the archaeology of experience and sensory perception. Most recently, Sue curated a display of Sutton Hoo-related archive in Room 2 at the British Museum, celebrating the 80th anniversary of the discovery (2019), and assisted the filmmakers of the Netflix film The Dig in their recreation of the Sutton Hoo excavation.

Banner image: Sutton Hoo Buckle © Trustees of the British Museum



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We’re Good To Go


We have gained the Visit England ‘We’re Good To Go’ kitemark confirming we’re following national COVID 19 guidelines for managing visits to our site.

✔ Face masks must still be worn to keep you, our staff and our volunteers safe unless you are exempt!

✔ You must still check-in via the Track and Trace app.

✔ Sanitisation stations will still be in place and we encourage you to use them.

✔ Social distancing will remain.

✔ Regular cleaning of our interactive exhibits will still take place.

This guidance will stay in place until further notice.